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Is There an Iodine and Thyroid Crisis?

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as medical or nutritional advice. I do not represent any claims here as true nor do I advocate following any advice presented here. Do your own research and seek professional help. There are a few doctors out there who believe that most of […]

How to Fall Asleep Quickly

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Most everyone I know is sleep deprived. Even those who think they get enough sleep generally don’t. It shows pretty clearly on the QEEG Brain Maps. I think it is less the number of hours in bed, and more the level of anxiety and activation upon going to bed. A person who goes to bed […]

Neurofeedback for Treatment of Autistic Symptoms

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

It would seem absurd to diagnose a heart problem based on external symptoms without measuring heart function through an EKG or echocardiogram. So why is it that brain scans are not part of routine diagnosis of Autism? Instead, autism is typically diagnosed on the symptoms of delayed communication skills and rigid, stereotyped behaviors. Research shows […]

More Evidence for Neurofeedback helping ADHD

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

A recently published meta-analysis of 10 studies found that Neurofeedback is as effective as stimulant medication at 6 months.  Specifically, they found that NF reduced inattention and impulsivity/hyperactivity. This is even more powerful considering that research methods with NF demand that all clients get the same treatment.  In practice, we do a brain map to […]

Long-term Cost of Treating ADHD vs Neurofeedback

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Some information I came across recently. Excerpt from Hammond article: Research has shown, however, that the costs associated with medication treatment are actually quite sizable. For instance, a study (Marchetti et al., 2001) of six different medications for ADD/ADHD treatment found that the average cost per school-aged patient was$1,678 each year. Another study (Swensenet al., […]

Health Insurance Loopholes for the Self-Insured

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only.  I give neither tax advice nor medical advice.  I do not promote any religion or religious orientation. The introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) in 2014 was controversial to say the least.  Some of the most contested components were the individual mandate and the resulting […]

Neurofeedback Success with Treatment-Resistant Depression

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Treatment-resistant depression means exactly what it says.  It is a person with Major Depressive Disorder who has failed to recover using all the “standard” depression treatments.  That means the person has at least tried a variety of anti-depressant medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy.  These aren’t necessarily the best treatments for everyone, but they are mostly what […]

The Unmotivated Child with “Potential”

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

I hear it all the time in my practice, “Little Johnny has so much potential, but he doesn’t try in class, sports, or homework.” It is a cliche that parents tell their children: “You can be anything you want to be.”  It makes sense, we want to build up our children’s self-esteem.  A first step […]

On Becoming A Mature Man

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Growing up I learned how to be a man mostly from the kids in the schoolyard.  I learned that being a man meant being tough, not showing weakness, picking on weaker kids, and bragging about sexual conquests.  I wasn’t particularly good at any of these things, so I decided to reject masculinity.  I didn’t wan’t […]

Is my past important to my present?

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

We have all had experiences we would like to forget.  Perhaps it was being called names in middle school, missing that catch in football, or being in a car accident.  How should we treat these painful memories?  In our culture, there is a prevailing belief that bringing up unpleasant past experiences only causes more pain and suffering. […]

Anxiety According to Freud

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

As long as we have been living in groups, we have struggled with how we should act.  We had to learn to often act against our instincts and put the interests of the group over the interests of the individual. To keep some sense of order and safety, groups adopted sets of rules to live by, […]

A promising treatment for Autism

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

What is Autism? Properly known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it is characterized primarily by two problem areas.  The first is restricted or repetitive behavior and thinking.  This includes fixations, concrete thinking, and over- or under- reactivity to sensory input.  Fixations may be on interests (such as trains, sports statistics, or video games) or particular […]

Drug Addiction: What are you putting in your body?

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

I am increasingly running across people who believe that substances such as caffeine and cannabis are not drugs.  Perhaps people hold these ideas because they believe these substances are harmless.  Perhaps the idea serves to keep shame or guilt at bay.  Some people are able to use some drugs recreationally.  The problem is that every drug […]

Addiction and the Social Connection

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Addiction is a pervasive problem in the world, and has been for centuries.  Countless treatments for it have been developed over the years.  Most treatments have involved punishments (jail, ostracism) or religion (Alcoholics Anonymous).  Newer treatments have focused on triggers and coping mechanisms (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy CBT).  The concepts of triggers and coping came to popularity […]

What is going on with my kid?

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Here is an imperfect guide to some of the common childhood behavioral disorders.  This is not meant for diagnosis, just an indicator of a direction for investigation.  Notice the degree of overlap, making differential diagnosis difficult.  Frequently, a person doesn’t fit neatly into one category.  Note that it is missing a column for substance abuse. […]

Video Game Addiction?

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Key Words: Minecraft, Clash of Clans, Grand Theft Auto, EverQuest, Call of Duty Are you or your kids spending more and more time on the tablet, phone, or computer? Does the craving remind you of the desire for a drug? If so, there is an explanation. Video games (and gambling) activate internal dopamine and adrenaline systems, […]

Does watching porn affect your relationship?

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Research shows the answer is a resounding yes. Here is a summary of the findings. People who view porn either alone or with their partner have: – More negative communication – Less sexual satisfaction – Twice the rate of infidelity Watching porn reduces commitment to the relationship – Abstaining from porn for as few as […]

For the seeker…

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart … love the questions themselves … Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live […]

From Shy to Confident

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Social fear and anxiety is one of the most common concerns I hear from clients.  No one is born being afraid of people, so it must be learned somewhere along the path.  We each have had many opportunities to learn social fear, from overbearing parents to mean kids on the playground.  Sometimes we can point […]

Existentialism

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Why am I here?  What’s my purpose? Existentialism is a broad philosophy primarily concerned with how one exists in the world.  Existentialism has often been accused of being pessimistic or depressing.  This is not surprising, considering that it deals with our struggling with these four areas: Freedom, Meaninglessness, Isolation, and Death. Common wisdom suggests avoiding these […]

I Just Need To Figure Out What Is Wrong With Me

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

One of the most common requests that I receive from clients is to help them figure out what is wrong with them. This makes perfect sense. If my life isn’t what I want it to be, then there must be something wrong with me….right? Well, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. What? How […]

Mindfulness

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Mindfulness is a central concept in creating change.   We tend to think that we already know what we are doing, thinking, and feeling.  However, an almost universal experience of those who start practicing mindfulness is that they become aware of how little they really know about themselves. When we are not mindful of our experiences, […]

Meditation Relieves Pain Better Than Morphine

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Researchers at Wake Forest conducted a study where participants attended four 20-minute classes on meditation and then were subjected to hot plates on their legs.  Pain reduction for those who learned to meditate ranged from 11 to 93 percent.  Those participants averaged 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness.  […]

Are we addicted to suffering?

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

Why are our lives so full of stress and anxiety?  Could we be addicted to suffering?  That really sounds absurd.  Why would any creature perpetuate its own suffering?  I believe that we humans do it all the time by repeatedly thinking and acting in self-harming ways.  Our anxiety and stress is often so constant that we […]

Which type of therapist is right for me?

by Dustin Johnson, LPC

With all the options out there, how do you pick a therapist?  It certainly is not an exact science.  For the most part, you probably will not know what to expect until the first session.  Still, you may be able to get an idea of what the therapists are like by reviewing their web pages. Psychotherapy is different from […]